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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Face, Timothy L.

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Spanish Differential Object Marking: An Empirical Study of Implicit and Explicit Instruction

Eve Zyzik / Laura Marqués Pascual
Published Online: 2015-03-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2012-1135


This article examines the impact of instruction on L2 learners’ ability to recognize and produce differential object marking in Spanish as measured by three written tasks: a grammatical preference task, a cued sentence production task, and a discourse-length narrative task. These assessment measures are hypothesized to tap both implicit and explicit knowledge based on criteria proposed by Ellis (2005) and Ellis, Loewen, Elder, Erlam, Philp & Reinders (2009). English-speaking learners (n = 123) were randomly assigned to one of three instructional treatments: input flood, enhanced input flood, and explicit grammar. The results indicate a significant advantage for the explicit grammar group on the preference task and the cued sentence production task. The remaining two groups showed modest improvement after the treatment, but with no significant differences between them. These results confirm the advantage of explicit instruction vis-à-vis more implicit treatments, although this advantage seems to be limited to controlled assessment measures.

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Published Online: 2015-03-20

Published in Print: 2012-09-01

Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2012-1135.

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